The Liber Precium
In medieval times people owned what were called "Books of Hours". A Book of Hours was a small book of selected prayers; it was intended for the layman who couldn't afford an entire Bible (before the printing press, books were expensive). Books of Hours were not "Scriptural"; that is, their content was not set in stone and varied from place to place and from era to era.
Quest has had such an item: at Apocalypse Now, when each PC was given a prayer book. While many players didn't use their books, others felt that having the religious texts and prayers added to the experience of playing a pious character. When faced with an emotionally trying experience, they would "turn to prayer" by literally pulling out their books and reading from an appropriate passage. Many players really felt this contributed to a sense of the world feeling real and palpable, in a way that is absent in the CG.
...ironic, considering the vast wealth of religious background material in the CG canon!
The Liber Precium seeks to fix this very problem.
What Is It?
The Liber Precium (Sturian for "The Book of Prayers") is a book of prayers common to Collegiate followers (that is, Northern humans). While each individual god's church may have holy writings of its own, the Liber is ecumenical. It is compiled by a committee of Collegiates, drawn from the vast wealth of writings and prayers and holy texts out there. The Collegiates select prayers of greatest value to the common person.
The Liber is a not a fixed volume; new editions are published every so often (the precise interval will deliberately be left undefined.) While some prayers, notably the popular ones, remain in the book throughout, others are cycled in and out.
Some prayers and ceremonies are god-specific, when that god seems obviously relevant (e.g. the prayer for rain is Zotran, the prayer for the harvest is Ubriallian.) Others have an "insert god's name here" quality. Others don't mention any god at all, but may beseech the heavens as a whole.
The Liber Precium is collection of prayers and ceremonies designed to useful for clergy and laymen alike. It includes both prayers and ceremonies that make sense in the world (births, crops, bedtime prayers), as well as prayers for the situations that occur during games (requests for aid, laying a dead person to rest, calling for strength before a battle, asking for forgiveness after making a mistake). If the PCs are presented with something holy or unholy, it gives them material they can fall back on for acting appropriately.
This book would serve as a common basis for clerics of different gods to hold a commonly acceptable service. Individual PCs with lots of time can customize their own books by filling in their god's name into the more generic prayers and ceremonies. If a group of PCs decide to play a congregation or religious order, they could obviously use the prayers in the Liber Precium as material for the priest/ess to use with his/her followers.
It will also be helpful to NPCs, too -- for playing devout village priests or Collegiate representatives. The NPC can just grab a copy of the book and spout the excessive amounts of religious garbage that you would expect from such a character. :)
Adding to the Liber
Allowing for multiple editions (and not saying how often new editions are published) means that as people come up with more writings, we can have the Collegium "publish a new edition" and thus include the new material. This allows the Liber to be a dynamic experiment that grows as the gameworld grows.
If you have a prayer or ceremony you think belongs in the Liber Precium, submit it to the CG GWC!
What It Isn't
...an attempt to codify CG religion into stone. The aim of the Liber is to provide common ground for CG characters, not to exclude future possibilities. The existence of a blessing for good fortune in the Liber Precium does not preclude dozens of other prayers about the exact same thing. (This is realistic as well as desirable.)
It also is not intended for use in what we'll call "Bible-banging". Obviously, hyper-religious characters may take advantage of this text. However, this is neither encouraged nor enjoyed. The Liber Precium is supposed to be a tool for playing sane religious characters. The zealots may latch onto it, but it is intended that a normal character could use it and not be viewed as a zealot.
Q. So this is the CG "Bible", right? Now my character now has to "toe the line" and adhere to this Collegium-centered dogma?
A. Nope. We're insistent that this is a roleplaying aid, not an attempt to centralize creative control. It's a collection of prayers and ceremonies to add flavor to games, not material for pulpit-pounding.
Q. It's a fixed volume, right? Once you've published it, it's set in stone?
A. Nope. Like a Book of Hours, its content changes.
Q. I have some material I think might go well in the Liber Precium. What do I do?
A. Send it to the CG GWC. They'll approve and compile entries.